Sleep Health

What is sleep?

Inactivity of the body, but electrical activity of the brain continues in a predictable pattern of brain waves – from slow wave sleep to brain states that mimic wakefulness in 90 minute cycles.

Stage I

Light sleep

Refreshes memory / dreaming occurs

Stage II

Stable sleep /diff to wake

Stage III

Deep sleep, growth hormone released
Sleep restores learning, memory, temperament and regulates hormones.

Average adult needs 7 to 7 1/2 hours each night.

Lack of sleep is defined as frequent daytime sleepiness as a result of sleep deprivation daily for at least 3 months.

Lack of sleep can be unintentional or intentional.

Sleep Disorders:

  • Insomnia
  • Circaid rhythm sleep-wake disorders
  • Sleep-related breathing
  • Parasomnias disorders
  • Central disorder of hypersomnolence
  • Other sleep disorders


Facts about sleep:

34% of US questioned stated less than 7hrs sleep nightly.

25% of US adults report lack of sleep 15 out of 30 days.

50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder.


Poor sleep is a public health concern!

Common causes of sleep disorders:

  • Stress
  • Occupational worries
  • Medical illness
  • Loneliness
  • Pain
  • Bereavement
  • Family dynamics
  • Financial worries

Health effects of insufficient sleep:

  • Decreased immunological function
  • Higher risk of chronic disease
  • Higher cardiovascular death
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Higher risk of hypertension
  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Decreased mental performance
  • Considerable higher risk in injury and accidents

Inadequate sleep is associated with behavior

  • When sleep is inadequate to support sufficient alertness, work routine,      and health from decreased total sleep time or fragmented sleep by short term awakenings.
  • Lack of sleep syndrome is characterized by increased daytime sleepiness caused by shortened sleep daily for at least 3 months.

3 Most common sleep disorders:

  • Insomnia- trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up early 3 times week for 3 months and affects daily activity.
  • Sleep Apnea- respiratory disturbance index > 15 per night with or without symptoms.
  • Restless leg syndrome-painful legs causing overwhelming urges to move legs during inactivity

Quantity verses Quality:

  • Quantity- hours of sleep per night.
  • Quality – number of times awaken from sleep and percentage / duration and type of sleep stages entered REM verses NREM

How much sleep do we need?

  • Sleep need is different for everyone and across the lifespan it changes.
  • 6 to 8 hours is sufficient for most adults.
  • Healthy people may feel refreshed with 6 to 10 hours.

Sleep intervention techniques:

  • Sleep hygiene education
  • Exercise
  • Stimulus control
  • Reducing sedentary rest
  • Relaxation
  • Positioning for rest
  • Weight control
  • Progressive relaxation
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Medication – antidepressants, ADHD meds, corticosteroids, thyroid hormone, high blood pressure meds, contraceptives, pain relievers containing caffeine, diuretics and diet pills
  • Medical appliances
  • Mindfulness sleep induction

Positive lifestyle changes to restore your sleep facilitates daily recovery and promotes improved health:

  • Go to bed and get out of bed at the same time daily
  • Avoid screen activity before bed
  • Drink caffeinated drinks in in AM only
  • Get out of bed if you cannot sleep after 20 min and return when sleepy
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid smoking in PM
  • Make your bedroom cozy, quite and cool
  • Weight reduction if overweight
  • Exercise on regular basis but  not 2 hours before bedtime
  • Eat a light snack (food with tryptophan)
  • Use bed only for sleep and sex
  • Avoid daytime napping
  • Mouth exercise to stop snoring and improve sleep
  • Weighted blanket
  • Sleep temperature 67-69 degrees

Natural sleep remedies that do work need 4 essential ingredients:




5 essential herbs for sleep health

  • Valerian
  • Passionflower
  • Lemon balm
  • Hops
  • Chamomile

#1 Nocurest Advanced sleep support     5 out 5

#2 NaturesWellness Natural sleep aid   3 out 5

#3 SourceNaturals NiteRest                   3 out 5

#4 NowFoods Sleep Sleep                     2 out 3

#5 Somnis Natural sleep aid          2 out 5

Newest natural sleep aid

#6 RediNite

Sherri Boos, PT, DPT




Clark, D., Lein, D., & Morris, D. (2017, July 17). Integrating Sleep Health in Physical Therapy Clinical Practice.

Sleep Disorders & Problems – National Sleep Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved from